World Braille Day: Honouring Louis Braille and His Contributions

Born on this day in the year 1809 in France, Louis Braille became blind after a childhood accident.
World Braille Day celebrated today
World Braille Day celebrated today

World Braille Day is celebrated on January 4 every year to honour the works of French educator and inventor of braille, Louis Braille.

The day is observed to raise awareness on the importance of Braille as a means of communication in the full realization of the human rights for blind and partially sighted people.

Born on this day in the year 1809 in France, Louis Braille became blind after a childhood accident. But, he quickly mastered a new way of living. When Louis was only 15 years old, he created a reading and writing system based on Charles Barbier’s night writing system.

Braille is a tactile representation of alphabetic and numerical symbols using six dots to represent each letter and number, and even musical, mathematical and scientific symbols. Braille is used by blind and partially sighted people to read the same books and periodicals as those printed in a visual font.

Braille is essential in the context of education, freedom of expression and opinion, as well as social inclusion, as reflected in article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

World Braille Day is a reminder of the importance of accessibility and independence for people who are blind or visually impaired. Today’s reality is that many establishments such as restaurants, banks, and hospitals don’t offer braille versions of their print materials like menus, statements, and bills. Because of this, people with blindness or visual impairments often don’t have the freedom to choose a meal on their own or keep their finances private.

World Braille Day celebrated today
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It is noteworthy here that South-East Asia’s first Braille version of the prestigious Assamese dictionary "Hemkosh" was formally launched by the Sadin Pratidin Group in September 2022.

The Braille version of the dictionary was launched to give a new dimension to the Assamese language with an aim to help in improving the educational quality of visually impaired children in the state. Notably, this is the first full language dictionary in Braille, after Oxford.

On the other hand, like previous years, this year too, the Sight First group is observing World Braille Day in Guwahati. The program which will be held at NEDFI house will be inaugurated by the Guwahati Commissioner of Police Diganta Borah.

On the occasion, Padmashree Bertha G. Dkhar will be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for her services towards the Braille system of education. Along with this, the visually impaired student who secured top position in the HSLC exam in Assam will also be awarded with a scholarship in the program.

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